He may be used to making a splash in politics. But now it seems that Boris Johnson will be able to do that closer to home, too.
This week, it was revealed that the former prime minister has been given permission to build a swimming pool in the garden of his £3.78 million Oxfordshire country home.
A move which will doubtless provide a restful place to unwind, exercise and relax as he navigates post-political life.
Deep pockets: A country home with outdoor swimming pool
But even if you don’t have deep pockets for such deep-water projects, it’s still possible to create the tranquil benefits of waterside living.
Whether it’s through installing a hot tub, pond, or even decorative fountains.
But, as our experts point out, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before splashing out…
Introducing any kind of water feature to your garden requires some upkeep.
During the spring and summer, you’ll need to top up your water feature regularly to replenish water loss caused by evaporation.
And there’s also the task of removing branches and leaves as well as pruning bushes nearby.
‘It’s also a good idea to give your water feature a thorough clean and add a wildlife-friendly algaecide or UV steriliser after cleaning,’ says Will Haxby, home and garden sales director at Haddonstone, which specialises in stonework ‘as this will prevent algae growth build-up caused by the warm conditions.’
When the temperatures drop, drain off water before the winter to protect your feature from frost.
You’ll also need to clean the pump to remove any limescale build-up.
Will it add value?
Installing features like fountains can add to the kerb appeal of your home, says Tabitha Cumming, a property expert at The Lease Extension Company, says: ‘This means that it will make a better first impression and potentially add value to your home.’
Amer Siddiq, founder and CEO at Landlord Vision, believes that water features such as fountains can have other benefits, too.
‘They can help mask unwanted noises from roads or neighbours. They can also attract birds and wildlife, adding a touch of nature to your surroundings.’
Andrew Landers, director at Property Rescue, a home-buying service, says: ‘The post-covid world has seen the importance of outside space massively increase, and any enhancements that make this space more enjoyable is going to have a positive impact on the value of a home.’
Factor additional costs into your budget, too, since water features rarely boil down to a single, one-off payment.
‘For example if any of your water features have fish, these can incur additional costs from the food and care that they will require, and you will also need to be vigilant to keep them safe from predators,’ says Cumming.
Some features can cause structural issues, too.
‘Fountains may become damaged through wear and tear or have cracks caused by water freezing over,’ she adds.
In summer, having a water feature will make you a magnet for friends and family who want to pop around and cool down.
All of which, says Anna Giles, an associate at law firm Wedlake Bell, could increase scope for accidents
‘Homeowners should bear in mind that they could be subject to a claim for compensation if someone injures themselves at their property, so reasonable care needs to be taken to ensure that visitors and/or occupiers of the property will be safe.’